Augusta Ventures adds four in Australian expansion

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Augusta Ventures has continued to expand in Australia, bringing in four experienced litigation lawyers in both Sydney and Melbourne.

The litigation funder has added Susanna Khouri and Kevin Ngo in Sydney, while it welcomed Sara Dennis and Sarah Adams in Melbourne. Augusta said that its Melbourne office, its second in the country, opened on 11 February.

“We have an experienced team of lawyers at Augusta and are pleased to attract further exceptional litigators and accomplished class action lawyers. Augusta now has 15 staff in Australia with plans for further expansion,” said Neill Brennan, Augusta Ventures managing director and co-founder. “We are excited about the opening of our Melbourne office, as it advances our presence in the market as one of the leading litigation funders and enhances our ability to provide quality service to lawyers in Melbourne.”

Augusta Ventures’ expansion in Australia comes as the sector continues to be hot in the country. Recently, Vannin Capital added a managing director in Sydney, Therium Capital Management set up shop in Melbourne and brought a former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to the fold, and Australian litigation funder LCM floated on the London Stock Exchange.

Khouri, who has been appointed as head of investment operations – diligence and monitoring, moved from Piper Alderman, where she was a special counsel in the national dispute resolution team. Prior to the national law firm, she was a senior investment manager at IMF Bentham for nine years.

She also spent 14 years in private practice as a commercial litigator. She was a partner at legacy DLA Phillips Fox and a solicitor at legacy Blake Dawson. She has worked on major class actions, including on claims against Lehman Brothers Australia, KPMG, the Commonwealth and the Australian Taxation Office.

Ngo, who has been named assistant investment manager in the diligence team, joined the litigation funder from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, where he was an associate based in Sydney. He was also previously at Allens. He is experienced in high-profile commercial litigation.

Appointed as investment manager – commercial, Dennis made the move to the firm from Clayton Utz, where she was most recently senior legal project manager. She was also previously a special counsel at the top-tier firm. Prior to Clayton Utz, she worked at Middletons, which was later acquired by K&L Gates. She has almost two decades of experience in class actions, product liability, and Australian consumer law.

Adams moved to the litigation funder from Vaughan Construction, where she was general counsel. The new investment manager – litigation, was also previously in various leadership and legal roles at Barwon Water, Orica Australia, and REpower Australia. She was also a partner at Deacons, before it was acquired by Norton Rose. She brings more than 25 years’ experience in construction and engineering matters to the firm.